A spinal cord injury can be devastating. Depending on where on the spine the injury happens, the victim could be left paralyzed from the waist down, or be paralyzed in all four limbs. This latter condition is known as quadriplegia.

Quadriplegia is known as tetraplegia in Europe. According to Disabled World, it is caused by an injury to the brain or the first seven bones of the spine. Damage to these body parts can cause a secondary injury to the spinal cord, which doctors call a “lesion.” The lesion can cause the victim’s limbs to have limited to no movement.

Some readers may believe that all quadriplegic people have no use of their arms and hands. In fact, depending on the exact location of the injury, the victim’s arms may have full range of motion. But all cases of quadriplegia involve some loss of motion in the fingers.

Besides paralysis in the limbs, quadriplegia usually causes the loss of sensation below the injury point. This can affect your ability to control your bladder and bowel. It can also limit your ability to breathe on your own. Devices like ventilators and electrical implants can help.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Blood clots
  • Spastic muscles
  • Pressure sores, also known as bedsores

As readers have already guessed, becoming quadriplegic after a car accident changes the victim’s life forever. He or she will likely need to use a wheelchair, and may need help performing everyday tasks. If a negligent person caused this condition, he or she should be held financially responsible for the costs of these accommodations.